Impact type: Public Policy
Significance: The research provided evidence for formulation of
government policies to ameliorate poor air quality, to which fine
particulate matter (PM2.5), O3 and NO2
are the most important contributors; PM2.5 alone reduces
average life expectancy in the UK by 6 months and costs £9bn-£20bn a year.
The research has been incorporated into UK national guidance and
policy-evidence documents for Defra, the Health Protection Agency, and the
Beneficiaries are the public and the environment.
Research; date; attribution: EaStCHEM research (1995-2011) (a)
established reliable techniques to measure NO2 for a national
protocol, and (b) quantified the impact of pollutant emissions on PM2.5
and O3 concentrations, and on hospital admissions and deaths.
Heal (EaStCHEM) led the research and wrote, collaboratively in some cases,
the reports and the work cited.
Reach: UK wide.
Impact: EaStCHEM spin out Albachem (1994), subsequently
incorporated into the Almac group,
enabling the latter company to become a world leader in the provision of
Significance: Chemical synthesis is competitive with recombinant
methods for commercial
production of the therapeutic polypeptides that represent ~50% of drugs in
big pharma pipelines
and have a market value in 2008 of over $13B. The value attributable to
Ramage's methods for
polypeptide syntheses over the REF period is estimated at approximately
Beneficiaries: Drug manufacturers, contract research
organisations, patients, clinicians.
Research: Studies (1993-6) led by Ramage (at the University of
Edinburgh) on new methods for
high-yield total syntheses and purification of long polypeptides.
Reach: Almac's protein-manufacturing team remains in the UK with
24 staff members. The Almac
Group, headquartered in N. Ireland, has 3300 employees globally (1300
outside UK) and sells to
600 companies worldwide.
CIRCA, Computer Interactive Reminiscence and Conversation Aid, is
a novel touchscreen computer system designed to support conversation
between people with dementia and their caregivers. CIRCA was based on
research into the memory and communicative problems of people with
dementia. The beneficiaries of this research are: i) practitioners and
professionals in healthcare services, who have improved training and
caregiving relationships - a total of 46 NHS, third sector and private
care organisations from across the UK have installed CIRCA since 2009; and
ii) people with dementia, who have enhanced social interactions and
quality of life.
Impact: Economic. The EaStCHEM spin-out company
Deliverics has commercialised biodegradable transfection reagents for both
the "research tool" and the "RNAi therapeutics" markets (globally valued
at £400M and £4 billion respectively). Beneficiaries are the
pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, and clinicians. The turnover
since 2010/11 is £330k and the company currently has five employees.
Significance: Deliveric's agents out-perfom existing materials in
term of efficacy and reduced levels of toxicity. They are not hampered by
the immunogenicity, manufacturing issues, and carcinogenicity previously
seen for viral vectors used as delivery agents. This presents a wide
ranging ability to deliver nucleic acids into cells and tissues for
Research; date; attribution: EaStCHEM research (2008) led by
Bradley reported a family of non-viral DNA delivery agents that offered a
highly-efficient and non-toxic method of delivering siRNA/DNA into
mammalian cells and tissues. Development and patenting of this technology
led to the spin-out of Deliverics Ltd. in 2010.
Reach: International customer base (20 research groups and 10
companies) including specially appointed distributors in Spain (Albyn
Medical), South Korea (CoreSciences), and US (Galen).
Impact: Economic. Ingenza is a profitable SME based
in Roslin, Scotland, with 34 (12 PhD-level) staff, and a turnover of £2.7M
Significance: Ingenza Ltd is an established industrial
biotechnology (IB) and synthetic biology (SB) company which incorporated
in September 2002. Its combination of synthetic organic chemistry with
efficient methods of genetic screening, fermentation and engineered
microbial strains is used to develop competitive and scalable industrial
bioprocesses for pharma, chemicals, energy, natural product and other
Beneficiaries are Ingenza's customers (commercial and the public)
and its employees.
Research; date; attribution: In 2002 the Turner group (University
of Edinburgh, UoE) published in Angew. Chem. a new strategy of
integrated chemo- and enzymatic catalysed routes to high-value chiral
compounds that offered dramatic improvements over existing technologies
(high yield and enantiomeric excesses often > 99.9%).
Reach: Ingenza now has moved from a focus on fine chemicals to
establish long term technology development and licensing agreements with
global leading end-users in the chemicals, polymers, biofuels, food and
biologics sectors, for example in the sustainable manufacture of
poly-methylmethacrylate with Lucite International.
World-leading primate research by the `Origins of Mind' group led to the
creation of the University's £1.6M `Living Links to Human Evolution'
Research Centre, intentionally located in Edinburgh Zoo where it has pioneered
unique public engagement and science education using a range of
materials and activities. The research has thus impacted on: i)
society and culture: since 2008, around 250,000 visitors per year
have engaged with live, on-going science and multiple associated legacy
resources and activities; ii) educational practitioners and school
children, through classes in the Centre and internet teacher packs
that integrate with Scottish Highers; and iii) commercial income
to the Zoo.
Impact type: Public Policy; Health (and related economic);
Significance: the research of the MIDAS (Medical Instrument
Decontamination and Screening) group has been used to formulate Department
of Health (DH) policy with respect to both the standard of contamination
monitoring and the quality of instrument decontamination procedures. The
Code of Practice CFPP 01-01, 2012 advocates the adoption of MIDAS's
technology throughout the NHS. With effect from July 2012, this is
contributing to reducing cancelled operations, 126,000 p.a., due to dirty
instruments, minimising the risk of new cases of terminal, Transmissible
Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) diseases, and reversal of the fear-driven,
growing trend towards disposable instruments (at an estimated cost of ca
£7bn worldwide). As a minimum estimate, this policy helps the work of
20,000 NHS sterile services hospital staff and contributes to the health
and safety of all patients who now undergo surgery. Edinburgh Biosciences
Ltd is employing four staff (2 PhD level) to manufacture and market
MIDAS's new decontamination monitoring instrumentation.
Research; date; attribution: Between 2002 and 2008 the Baxter and
Jones groups developed and reported new methods to quantify and remove
residual protein contamination on `cleaned' hospital instruments. They set
up MIDAS, the Medical Instrument Decontamination and Screening group, to
develop and apply these methods for in situ, quantitative,
ultra-sensitive detection of surface-bound, biological contamination on
medical devices and for the removal of this contamination to levels below
the limit of detection.
Reach: The code of practice is currently in force at the UK level.
Edinburgh Biosciences is commercialising decontamination monitoring
systems for an international market.
Dr Ian Bradley's research on the history and practice of pilgrimage in
Scotland has had an impact on public understanding of cultural heritage,
on the tourist industry, and on the development of new practices by local
authorities, churches and the military. Dr Bradley has been commissioned
to devise and lead pilgrimages in Scotland and beyond, which have
yielded quantifiable economic benefits of over £250,000. His research has
contributed to the conservation of cultural heritage through a range of
consultancy work, with impacts including the establishment of the Scottish
Pilgrim Routes Forum in 2012 and enhancements to the visitor experience
at Iona Abbey. It is continuing to shape pilgrim route infrastructure
development by national and local agencies, church groups and the army.
Impact: Economic gains
PHYESTA designed 8% of the area of the computer chip for IBM's most recent
BlueGene/Q supercomputer product. Global install base of design exceeds
Unique experiment in co-design at the cutting edge of technology. Adopted
by both IBM and Fujitsu, who have led in Green500 energy efficiency and
top500 supercomputer rankings.
This supercomputer architecture has been installed in labs in the UK, the
US, the EU, and Japan and is accelerating computational science and
advanced manufacturing around the globe. In the UK the BlueJoule system
installed in the Hartree center at Daresbury is driving HPC uptake in the
advanced manufacturing sector.
IBM, Fujitsu, computational science and the HPC community worldwide.
Attribution: This work was led by Dr Peter Boyle (School of
Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh) in collaboration with
Columbia University and IBM.
The Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) in St Andrews designs, builds and
instrumentation and software essential for marine mammal tracking.
Specific impacts are: